White House pointing in different directions

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States have 'wide discretion' to cut Medicaid payments to providers, White House says
States have 'wide discretion' to cut Medicaid payments to providers, White House says
Just a handful of weeks from inauguration day, long-term care providers were still scratching their heads, trying to figure out whether they were happy with the election win of Barack Obama more than a month earlier.

Some nursing home operators dreaded the prospect of a union-organizing bill speeding through Congress to an eager President Obama's desk.

But others hailed the president-elect's call for an increase in the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) in any upcoming economic stimulus package. It could increase Medicaid funding levels significantly, helping most nursing home operators.

Yet Obama has received mixed reviews in the long-term care community. He has pushed for higher pay for caregivers, increased nurse training and more home-care funding. 

As a state senator, Obama sponsored an act that would establish a national insurance program to help pay for those with long-term care costs.

The president-elect's transition team was moving methodically and received positive reviews from providers at press time for nominating former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, and by extension, the  Medicaid and Medicare programs.